Sunday, January 29, 2012

Second race - 6 km biathlon

Yesterday was the first biathlon race of this competition. The women's vision impaired distance was 6 km: 3 2 km loops with 2 shooting.

I haven't done any biathlon or any shooting practice since the Paralympics in 2010, but I have been shooting really well since I have been here. I had decided to take back control for yesterday's race and so I went back to what I had learned about racing when I first started. I wrote up a race plan, I visualized the race course, i found keywords that would help me focus and feel positive. In other words, I was ready to race.

I did my warm-up and practised some shooting in the time allotted for VI skiers. I got to the start line feeling pumped. I went out on the course and felt so strong that I was pushing Brian on the first lap. We got to the shooting range and I shot clean. On the second lap there were some people passing us and I tried to keep up with them, which triggered a bit of asthma, but I got it back under control and kept going. On the downhill towards the shooting range I caught the track or some separating branches that were left on the course after the sitski race. And I went flying with my legs up in the air. I didn't get tangled up though, so I got up really quickly and kept going. I missed my first shot that time, but was able to refocus and hit the rest. We did one penalt loop and went out for our last lap. I was trying to stay with the German girl who passed me when I fell. It turned out to be a bad idea, as it was not a girl but a guy (which I couldn't see) and therefore much faster than me. This attempt to catch him triggered a full-on asthma attack and for a while I almost couldn't move at all. I couldn't breathe! Once we finally got to some downhill, the asthma let go a bit and I was able to finish the race more or less quickly.

But even with these adventures, I still did well in the race, even beating one Russian girl. So keeping yesterday's race in mind and making appropriate changes (longer warm-up, slower on the first lap), I am racing the 10 km biathlon today.

Well, gotta go get ready! Good morning from Cable!

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